Post-Match Report

Report: Arsenal Women 3-1 Chelsea

Arsenal lift the Conti Cup

Chelsea Women -

Selhurst Park
FA Women's Continental Tyres League Cup
FA Women's Continental Tyres League Cup
  Arsenal Women
Arsenal Women
3 1
  Chelsea Women
Chelsea Women

Our four-year wait for a trophy ended after we put on a stunning display against Chelsea to win 3-1 and lift the Conti Cup for the sixth time in our history. 

We bounced back from Sam Kerr's opening goal to score three times before the break via Stina Blackstenius, Kim Little and a Chelsea own goal, and a solid defensive display after the break ensured the silverware returned to north London.

The sold-out crowd at Selhurst Park were in fine voice on Sunday afternoon and cheered our Gunners on to a confident victory. 

What happened

Jonas Eidevall made just a single change to the side who lost to Chelsea only last weekend, with Noelle Maritz stepping in for Laura Wienroither as our right wing-back.

It wasn’t the start we were hoping for. In almost identical fashion to Bournemouth's opener against our men's team yesterday, we conceded immediately via Kerr's free header at the far post.

Refusing to let our heads drop, we immediately went in search of an equaliser, bearing down on the Chelsea penalty area and earning three corners in quick succession.

We found that goal soon enough through Blackstenius in the 16th minute. Frida Maanum began the move, driving at the Chelsea backline and getting a shot away, which then fell to our Swedish striker in the box. She buried her shot past Ann-Katrin Berger to bring our Gunners back level.

Our Gunners' continued momentum was awarded less than 10 minutes later when Katie McCabe was brought down by Sophie Ingle and skipper Little took up a familiar place at the penalty spot. She took a deep breath and dispatched with ease, giving us a well-deserved lead. 

Blackstenius almost bagged a brace after beating Berger from close range but she was deemed to be offside. Lia Walti’s serenity in midfield, coupled with creativity and determination from McCabe and Caitlin Foord down the wings, continued to lift our performance and we dominated the Blues across the pitch. 

The fourth official indicated four minutes of added time but our Gunners weren't ready for the team talk yet. In essentially the last kick of the half, Rafaelle rose high for a corner and forced Niamh Charles to put the ball in her own net, completing our first-half comeback.

Victoria Pelova entered the game in the second half to replace McCabe and our Dutch midfielder made a rapid impact, testing Berger on the half-volley with her first touch of the ball. 

We continued on the front foot to extend our two-goal cushion. On the hour mark, Foord broke away with only Kadeisha Buchanan for company. The Chelsea full-back brought our Aussie winger to the ground and despite the tackle occurring in the penalty area, the referee granted a corner. 

The Blues did have dangerous spells in the second half, with Melanie Leupolz forcing a good save from Manuela Zinsberger after she struck a clean volley outside the area. 

However, our shot-stopper wasn't called into too much further action thanks to a solid backline performance, allowing Little and Leah Williamson to lift the silverware at Selhurst - the first of Eidevall's tenure.

Team news

Arsenal: Zinsberger, Maritz (Wienroither, 69), Williamson, Rafaelle, Catley, Walti, Little, Maanum, McCabe (Pelova, 56), Foord, Blackstenius (Beattie, 86)

Subs not used: Marckese, Wubben-Moy, Kuhl, Hurtig

Chelsea: Berger, Périsset, Bright, Eriksson (Fleming, 77), Charles (Leupolz, 46), Ingle (Kaneryd, 62), Cuthbert, James, Cankovic (Buchanan, 40), Reiten, Kerr

Subs not used: Musovic, Carter, Mjelde, Abdullina

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